Bharat Jodo Yatra in J&K, a wild goose chase!
Kr Swarn Kishore Singh
When Rahul Gandhi met a group of Kashmiri Pandits during Jammu & Kashmir leg of Bharat Jodo Yatra; he was seen giving a very sympathetic ear to their grievances and Kashmiri Pandits were also pretty amused by his stray sympathetic reactions. Little did they know that within few days when Rahul Gandhi goes to England, trims his beard and visits Cambridge University for a lecture; talks about meeting terrorists in Kashmir and not getting harmed by them. He was propagating power of listening there but at the same time his popular image of a confused politician was also coming out clear. How come you can stand by the plight of Kashmiri Pandits and have compassion for the terrorists at the same time? Bharat Jodo Yatra was indeed a very big investment made by Indian National Congress to refurbish the image of Rahul Gandhi so as to transpose the voting pattern of India in their favour. This whole campaign was a huge PR campaign to undo the damage caused to Rahul Gandhi by sudden rise in use of social media since 2010s. This whole campaign of Bharat Jodo Yatra ran predominantly on two prominent political emotions; first being regional political parties strong in their region want a ally in New Delhi having a pan-India presence (no matter how much scant it is) i.e. Congress and the other being Congress surrendering before the different and sometimes even contrasting ideologies in different regions just to attain menial electoral gains regionally over mighty Bharatiya Janata Party. The crowd running with Rahul Gandhi was also out-sourced to regional political parties with a mutual emotion i.e. abject hatred for Bharatiya Janata Party. Jammu and Kashmir chapter was no different; the calling of crowd was outsourced at different places to different regional factors. Be it Lal Singh in Kathua and Samba or National Conference in Kashmir; both at contrasting political poles. The political direction and dimension of Bharat Jodo Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir appeared to be Rahul Gandhi personified; mostly confused while trying to showcase itself as bold and confident with staged handshakes with some people and eventual blowing of kisses too. The composition and restrictions in the Bharat Jodo Yatra reminded me of the obscene 800 mile long corridor which Mohammad Ali Jinnah had demanded to connect East Pakistan and West Pakistan via mainland India. The Yatra was not for common man to enter and anyone trying to get into the Yatra corridor was seen brutally thrown out; when even Punjab Congress Chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring was seen to have been manhandled, imagine what a common man would have to go through. The confusion was very much visible when Lal Singh was convinced by Congress high command to join the Yatra; he went all guns blazing to canvass for participation in Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra but when the Yatra arrived he wasn’t even allowed to join. Congress firstly used Lal Singh and then betrayed him after a blatant threatening by National Conference as Congress had a long run in Kashmir division hereby abstinence from Lal Singh. Writing off their Yatra in Udhampur town also speaks volumes of the fact that Congress is almost wiped off from Jammu division. Then the rains saved their face in Ramban when the Yatra couldn’t even walk for two kilometers. Congress went ahead with JK National Conference cadres and Omar Abdullah joined Rahul Gandhi in Banihal. Rahul Gandhi even tried to scandalize the whole fiasco and accused the government for security breach but after a detailed rebuttal from Jammu & Kashmir Police there appeared to be none. One question which stays unasked and unanswered is when Congress will betray National Conference again. Congress had opted out of Gupkar alliance for DDC elections in 2021. Congress betrayed Lal Singh and Jammu & Kashmir National Conference seem to be next in line for that. Gupkar Alliance sitting in the lap of Congress is nothing but a desperate attempt to delegitimize what Bharatiya Janata Party did on August 5, 2019. This is nothing but a naked display of political desperation and the national interest can wait till fulfilling of political lewdness of Rahul Gandhi and company. While Rahul Gandhi was very critical of Bharatiya Jantaa Party’s efforts in redressing of issues of Kashmiri Pandits, will he seek pardon from the people of Jammu & Kashmir for rigging of 1987 elections by his father and Dr Farooq Abdullah. This whole Bharat Jodo Yatra pogramme has not been orchestrated for some Mohabbat Ki Dukaans but re-opening of Loot Ki Dukaan which has been shut for last almost 9 years by Narendra Modi led government. Also the Mohabbat Ki Dukaan is not the objective instead its the hate for India which binds them all and hate for Hindu cause. Also the manner of exclusivity with respect to the entry into the Yatra is concerned, it was not the Mohabbat Ki Dukaan rather Mohabbat Ki Feri Wala, if at all it was really about Mohabbat.
(The author is an Advocate and political commentator).